Olivet School of Media and Communication


Journalism Students Sharpen Word Usage Skills in Editing Class

Olivet School of Media and Communication (OSMC) students are sharpening their word usage skills in the “Editing and News Judgement” class this Fall Quarter. The “Editing and News Judgment” course aims to help future journalists master grammar, spelling, and punctuation. Realizing the fact that meaning does not reside in words alone but also in the way words are organized, journalism students at OSMC are training themselves in the right vocabulary usage through the class.

During the lectures, the course instructor pointed out some of the most common grammar mistakes in American journalism such as the agreement of pronouns and antecedents, essential or nonessential clauses, verb tenses, misplaced modifiers, dangling participles as well as sentence fragments and run-ons. Even the most grammar-savvy writer may fall into these grammar traps until the copyeditor points them out.

In addition, a major part of the course is to have students familiarize themselves with the Associated Press (AP) Style writing – an international journalism standard required for reporters and editors. What journalists call “style” is a body of guidelines that ensures consistency in presenting information to the public. Style addresses spelling and punctuation. For instance, the AP Stylebook states that numbers one through nine should be spelled in the article but numerical figures should be used for 10 and above.

“After all, a good article is beyond grammar and styles. Bringing a concrete and specific image to the audience should be one of the most important goals for editors. Some of the practical tips for improving your writings include using strong active verbs instead of passive voice, tightening sentences by eliminating redundancy, adopting good quotes, cleaning up jargon, slangs and clichés,” said the instructor.

Students have many opportunities to practice writing and editing in this course. They find it very useful and have gained much insight into the nature of an editor’s work.


Media Communication Students Explore Editing: As Much an Attitude as a Group of Skills

Journalism students at Olivet School of Media and Communication (OSMC) discussed the role of editors in today’s newsroom during the Editing and News Judgment class. Editors play a very important role in the newsroom. Like it is said, “With great power comes great responsibility,” students are reminded of their responsibility as future editors.

The role of an editor is to verify and oversee the content to maintain accuracy, impartiality, and ethicality before an article is published. In the era of multimedia, the format and the content of the news should also be carefully planned to reach the audience in each media platform.

In order to perform the day-to-day tasks efficiently in fast-paced newsrooms, editors must familiarize themselves with the editing techniques such as determining the news value, verifying the facts, polishing the lead, erasing redundant words, checking the spelling, grammar, and punctuation based on the stylebook, and the like. Above all, one of the very first qualities that an editor should possess is having the right attitude.

“Good editors are the ones who put the interest of the public first, making sure that the citizens know what they need to know to make informed choices in a democratic society,” said the instructor Eunice Or.

According to Cecilia Friend and Don Challenger, authors of Contemporary Editing, the four essential aspects of professional editing include – a sense of news judgment, a knowledge of the audience, a commitment to fairness and ethics, a dedication to standards of consistency and reliability.

“Editing is as much an attitude as it is a group of technical skills. The attitude provides the foundation upon which the skills can be developed; the skills, in turn, sharpen the attitude,” the authors wrote.

Many students who used to believe that editing is a very mundane work are being challenged to change their perspectives and rethink their purposes as future journalists.


Journalism Students Brainstorm Ideas for Fall Quarter Capstone Project

Two graduate students at the Olivet School of Media and Communication (OSMC) are conducting research on news topics in order to prepare for their journalism capstone project in the Fall quarter.

Journalism Capstone is the very last course that graduate journalism students would take before graduation. Through this Master’s project, students must demonstrate a mastery of journalism knowledge and skills that they have undertaken from previous courses. The final product of the journalism capstone should be a series of ready-to-publish articles with at least 5,000 words, based on extensive reporting, research and interviews.

Sarah Murugan, a student at Olivet University’s Washington D.C. campus, has proposed to do a series on cultural issues revolving around churches and Christians in India. Christians in India are religious minorities often facing persecution due to the anti-conversion law and extreme Hindu groups.

Though persecution is an important issue in Indian churches, there are also other topics that are newsworthy yet less-covered by the media. For example, how born-again Christians in India can cope with their culture that is deeply rooted in Hinduism, the impact of Pentecostal movement on churches in India, how to outreach to numerous indigenous people groups in this multilingual and multicultural country. Murugan will focus on one of these topics.

Olivet University Riverside campus student Kristina Ran will be working on topics related to Chinese churches. In light of the pro-democracy movement in Hong Kong which has occupied the top headlines in the international media, Ran would like to examine how this issue may affect the Chinese churches and Christians both in mainland China and abroad.

Both students are looking forward to challenging themselves intellectually, academically and professionally through this capstone project.


Olivet’s Media School to Revamp its Official Website

The Olivet School of Media and Communication (OSMC) plans to revamp the school’s website. It is one of the goals scheduled to be fulfilled for the year 2019.

OSMC’s program director, Washington D.C. campus director, content provider, and web designer have come together to form a task force to brainstorm concepts for the new website. On top of aesthetics and branding, easy-to-follow navigation is put into consideration in order to help prospective students find the information that they need. The new website will also showcase current students’ life and academic work in more effective ways.

“OSMC has developed and grown in the last few years. We have implemented new curricula, introduced new courses, and opened a new campus at Washington D.C. It’s time for a new website to present our school,” said OSMC program director Eunice Or.

The new website project is now in its preliminary planning stage. The goal is to create a sitemap and produce a draft of the web content by the early Fall Quarter. The new website will be launched by the end of October 2019.


OSMC Updates Graduate Program, MDiv-MA Journalism Joint Program Curricula

Olivet School of Media and Communication (OSMC) has updated its graduate journalism programs for the academic year 2019-2020, placing more emphasis on multimedia skills training.

The existing Master of Arts in Journalism curriculum consists of the following courses under the required “Skills” category: JOUR540 Audio and Video Production, JOUR601 Multimedia Journalism, JOUR603 Feature Writing, JOUR609 Advanced Writing and Reporting and JOUR610 Newsroom Management. JOUR560 Photography and Photo Editing and JOUR606 Social Media and Audience Development, which used to be elective courses, will be added to replace the two upper-level writing courses.

There has been an ever-increasing demand for media professionals to have strong multimedia skills. Basic photography, photo editing and social media are essential rather than optional capabilities in the industry today. With some fundamental training in visual media, students can gain confidence in producing engaging and interactive digital contents for the audience.

The curriculum change also applies to the Master of Divinity – Master of Arts in Journalism Joint Degree Program, which is a cross-disciplinary collaboration between Olivet Theological College & Seminary (OTCS) and OSMC. The 5 courses under the required “Skills” category in the joint degree program will be updated accordingly.

The MDiv-M.A. Journalism joint degree program is uniquely designed to equip students with professional journalism skills and strong theological background to communicate the message of God effectively with the world. It offers diverse career paths for graduates to serve within the church in a pastoral role of media organizations as journalism professionals.

Each summer, OSMC faculty committee conducts an annual curriculum review to evaluate student learning outcomes in each course and whether overall program goals have been attained by each curriculum. The committee has concluded that over 80% of the outcomes and goals are satisfactorily met.

All curricula changes will be effective from the 2019 Fall quarter.


OSMC Riverside Student Went to Washington D.C. for Ministry Internship

One student from Olivet School of Media and Communication (OSMC) Riverside campus has arrived at Washington D.C. for ministry internship.

Second-year graduate student Sarah Murugan has been studying journalism at Riverside campus since Fall 2017. She was trained in basic media skills such as news writing, editing, social media, photography, and videography from OSMC’s courses. She has become the editor of the school’s news services, where she was able to gain practical experience in editorial management. She also helped with Olivet University’s social media updates and main website updates under the supervision of the communication department director. Since Sarah has studied most courses at Riverside campus, she is ready to complete her ministry internship and journalism capstone courses in Washington D.C.

“During my stay in Olivet University Riverside as a media student, I had an opportunity to apply what I learned in the ministries that I served. The teachers in Riverside helped me and laid a strong foundation of news and photography in me. It was time for me to apply these in a larger scale. God, in His time, has led me to our media school in Washington D.C. to receive further training in the field and grow as a good Christian reporter. I hope to work hard and be a person who can speak the truth and use the ministry to the fullest to reach many lost souls,” said Sarah.

“We are very glad to send Sarah to Washington D.C. campus. In partnership with a Christian media ministry in Washington D.C., our journalism program is able to provide a unique internship experience for our students. I have great hope that God will continue to raise Sarah spiritually and professionally as she works in the field,” said OSMC program director Eunice Or.


Journalism Students Research Latest Media Technology and Business Trends

Journalism students have gained new perspectives on the development of media technology and its impact on people’s lives through one of the featured courses “Media and Society” in the Spring quarter.

The “Media and Society” course is a walkthrough of the history of mass communication in the United States. All types of media including newspapers, magazines, books, radio broadcast, recorded music, television, films, internet and smartphones (the third screen) are covered in the 10-week of study. At different points of history, different types of media experience their rise and fall, which have posed an important impact on our culture and society.

Students enrolled in the course were required to research the latest media technology and business trends as their final projects. A few interesting topics were addressed.

Freshman student Zike Zhang, who has a background in computer science prior to pursuing his journalism study, presented his research on 5G technology. He suggested that the birth of 5G technology ushered the era of “the Internet of Everything.” It means that every object can become information collection and output end through 5G connection, therefore now “everything is media, everything is a platform.” This will revolutionize the way of newsgathering, production and dissemination.

With 5G connectivity, integration of artificial intelligence in newsrooms will soon become a norm. However, Zhang predicted that professional journalists are irreplaceable because robots are limited in terms of producing in-depth coverage and creative contents.

Another student Abby Peng researched on the development of WeChat, a mobile application founded in China. WeChat Pay (similar to Apple Pay) and WeChat mini program have opened numerous opportunities for Chinese businesses, even market stalls on the streets have adopted the technology.

WeChat official accounts provide leverage to media organizations and individuals to share contents that may not be able to pass the censorship in mainstream outlets. WeChat will continue to transform the media landscape in China with its superpower in connecting people.

“The media is undergoing profound changes in this century. By studying the Media and Society course, I have broadened my thoughts. Now I can see a clear picture in different stages of history and many times Christians have missed the opportunity to use the media for God’s work. I want to be the one to adopt the latest media technologies and advance the Gospel even further,” shared Zhang.


OU Prepares Media Services for Commencement 2019

As Commencement Ceremony 2019 is scheduled to be held at Riverside main campus next Friday, Olivet School of Media and Communication (OSMC) will be providing media services for this important event.

OSMC faculty and students have formed a professional photography team this week to support the commencement. The team will offer a photography service package to graduates who wish to get studio-quality “cap & gown” portraits. The service is available on Thursday, June 20 from 8:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. Graduates are encouraged to submit their reservation and payment to graduation@olivetuniversity.edu in advance. The photography service package also includes two photos of the graduate receiving diploma and posing with senior professors on stage during the conferring of degrees.

OSMC is responsible for covering event photos and news for the ceremony. Photos and news will be distributed via the school website and social media platforms. It also plans to conduct post-ceremony video interviews with senior professors and guest.

Meanwhile, OSMC is producing a new episode of “My OU Story” which will have its premiere at the commencement ceremony. Each “My OU Story” features a student’s unique experience at Olivet University (OU) that has helped one grow and live for God’s calling. OSMC is excited to have the opportunity to share “My OU Story” live with distinguished guests and friends of Olivet at the event.


5 Reasons Why You Should Study Media and Communication at OSMC

Summer is coming soon and it is an important season for school admission. Among the many programs offered at Olivet University (OU), why should you choose to study media and communication?

1. We are called to proclaim the truth

We wake up every day to a world where news and information come freely and abundantly. Our phones send us top headlines from our favorite media outlets–even when we do not ask. However, the abundance of information does not mean that we are any closer to the truth. Messages espousing crude bigotry, hatred, extremism and blatant lies have infiltrated the media. Rather than being a force for unity and positive change, media is now the tool for division and mistrust.

“Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” (John 8:32)

Christians are called to bring the truth to the world, so it is essential that God-fearing men and women be a significant presence in media. We should be the ones to win the hearts and minds of the generations to Christ – so that they will be delivered from the broken world today.

2. We are called to be watchmen for the house of Israel

The Christian Church today has lost its strength. It is our mission to awaken, preserve and unite God’s people by providing them daily bread and courage. By making good use of the media to preach the Word of God, we have tremendous power to protect the people of God and the Church.

“At the end of seven days the word of the Lord came to me: ‘Son of man, I have made you a watchman for the people of Israel; so hear the word I speak and give them warning from me.'” (Ezekiel 3:16-17)

The late Swiss Reformed theologian Karl Barth has remarked on the importance of newspapers and media. In a Time Magazine article on Barth published on May 31, 1963, Barth recalled that 40 years ago he advised young theologians to “Take your Bible and take your newspaper, and read both. But interpret newspapers from your Bible.”

Newspapers, Barth said, are so important that “I always pray for the sick, the poor, journalists, authorities of the state and the church-in that order. Journalists form public opinion. They hold terribly important positions.”

3. OSMC prepares you to be effective media ministers

Our goal at OSMC is to prepare students to be critical thinkers and effective storytellers. Students will learn how to tell a story in multimedia format – with texts, photography, videos and graphics. We train students to practice responsible journalism abiding media law and ethics. Our curriculum and technology are updated regularly to match up with the current standard in the media profession.

4. OSMC cares for your spiritual growth

Beyond professional development, OSMC encourages students to set up a strong foundation in Christian faith through spiritual training and theological study. We believe that only when you are well-connected with God, you can become a servant-leader to provide solutions for the world.

Students may start their study program at OU’s Riverside main campus where they study Bible and theology courses, and immerse in a spiritual environment filled with the Word of God and prayers. Master of Divinity (M.Div.)/Master of Arts (M.A.) in Journalism joint-degree program is available at Riverside campus.

5. OSMC offers unique Washington D.C. internship experience

OSMC students have the opportunity to study at the Washington D.C. campus.

Washington D.C. is the media center of the United States. Students will be able to gain hands-on experience in media ministries and create a media portfolio through the upper-level courses and internship program.

OSMC graduates have excellent communication skills, which is applicable and transferable in many different professions. They play major roles in the media such as reporters, editors, video producers, photojournalists, and social media strategists. They may also pursue a career in public relations and advertising for businesses, churches, ministries, and non-profit organizations.


New Episode of My OU Story in Filming Stage

Olivet School of Media and Communication (OSMC) students at Riverside main campus are producing a new episode of My OU Story. The three-minute video will feature the journey of a Master of Divinity graduate Lisa Lin in finding her calling in Christian child education.

The first filming started last week at a where Lin leads a group of elementary school children on a variety group activities as part of her ministry practicum. OSMC instructor Edwin Tsuei led a team of university students, enrolled in the media journalism course, to document the interaction between Lin and the children.

Lin and the elementary children went hiking and playing by the lake. Then they came back to the classroom to observe the samples gathered from nature and write in their journals.

These outdoor and indoor shoots require advanced photography and lighting skills. OSMC students not only practice what they have learned in the classroom but also acquire some new techniques by improvising on the field creatively. “Compared to the prior episode of My OU Story, this new project is more challenging as it involves many kids and more diverse scenes. However, it is also when our skills are being put into the test. It helps us advance to the next level,” said instructor Tsuei.

Prior to filming, OSMC students and instructor Tsuei had taken a few weeks to interview and research the subjects, write the script, storyboard, and scout the suitable shoot locations. The pre-production process makes sure that every member of the production team can visualize the final result and have a common action plan in mind.

The filming is expected to be completed by the end of the quarter.